California officials Thursday abruptly halted a controversial effort to slash the carbon footprint of automobile air conditioning.
“Cool car” rules would have required a clear, reflective glaze on vehicle windows as a way to block excessive sunlight and heat. The rules were adopted in June by the state Air Resources Board and were in the process of being finalized.
But law enforcement officials had expressed concerns that the coating -- a spray of microscopic metal particles that block infrared rays -- would interfere with the electronic monitoring of ankle bracelets on paroled felons. Wireless phone companies said the glaze could degrade cellphone signals, including 911 calls. And toll road operators said it could make it difficult to use the "E-Z Pass" systems that allow traffic to move quickly through toll booths.
"Stakeholders raised several new issues involving performance of electronic devices as they may affect public safety," said James N. Goldstene, the board's executive officer. "After listening to this input and accounting for the legal deadline to finalize the rule, we are announcing that the AB 32 'cool cars' rule-making will cease."